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Michael Dorris
Ann Weil
0817239944
March 1997
Hardcover
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Card catalog description
Presents an overview of the life and work of this Native American author who has written works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children.


Yellow Raft in Blue Water
Michael Dorris
0312421850
March 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Veteran narrator Rosenblat displays remarkable vocal versatility in narrating Dorris's cross-generational story of three Native American women in Montana who must come to grips with the past. Divided into three first-person narratives, the book follows teenage Rayona; her mother, Christine; and her grandmother, who both the others call Aunt Ida. Rosenblat gives each a distinct voice, perfectly capturing the youthful yet determined attitude of Rayona and the wizened, sardonic tone of her mother. The syncopated, husky voice she adopts for Aunt Ida, who is said to have a pronounced accent, isn't spot-on, but it isn't distracting either. Ida's story is the shortest of the three, and Rayona's is the longest and most immediate, as the other two are actually monologues that supplement and expand on the events of the...


The Broken Cord: A Family's Ongoing Struggle with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Michael Dorris
0060916826
January 1989
Paperback
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Book Review
When Michael Dorris, 26, single, working on his doctorate, and part Indian himself, applied to adopt an Indian child, his request was speedily granted. He knew that his new three-year-old son, Adam, was badly developmentally disabled; but he believed in the power of nurture and love. This is the heartrending story, full of compassion and rage, of how his son grew up mentally retarded, a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome whom no amount of love could make whole. The volume includes a short account of his own life by the 20-year-old Adam, and a foreword by Dorris' wife, the writer Louise Erdrich. The Broken Cord won a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1989.

The New York Times Book Review, Patricia Guthrie
The Broken Cord should be required reading for all medical...


Morning Girl
Michael Dorris
078681358X
May 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
A peaceful, tropical world is the setting for Morning Girl, a simple yet rich glimpse into the lives of a young sister and brother. Morning Girl and Star Boy grapple with timeless, universal issues such as experiencing simultaneous anger and love toward family members and the quest to discover the true self. As all siblings do, these children respond to, play off of, and learn from each other. Precisely where Morning Girl and Star Boy are growing up is not revealed, but it's clearly a place where the residents have no modern amenities. Living in harmony with nature is a necessary priority here, and--given the descriptive names of the characters--a Native Indian culture seems likely. But not until the epilogue do readers discover that the story takes place in 1492. Suddenly we realize that the strange-looking visitors Morning...


Working Men
Michael Dorris
0312422792
Dec 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Dorris ( A Yellow Raft in Blue Water ) offers 14 carefully etched portraits of just plain American folk puzzling through their roles as parents, children, husbands, wives, neighbors, friends and, as the title says, working men (and women). Not macabre, sensational or faddish, his stories are propelled by the persistent, half-spoken tension between the characters' everyday existence and their greater aspirations. In commonplace surroundings--a yard sale, a front room, a roadside Sheraton--Dorris's people meet with unexpected and often unwelcome epiphanies that jar their lives into perplexing clarity. Even the most secure ties to family and home begin to unravel when protagonists face themselves or when they feel a call to wander to that peculiarly American destination--no place in particular. Dorris has an uncanny...


Guests
Michael Dorris
0786813563
May 1999
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
At dawn, as the "light from the smoke hole in the roof turned from black to gray," Moss is playing with a string of wampum when it breaks apart, scattering abalone shell beads in many directions. The design of the beads had held a story "from long ago," and even Moss's grandfather can't recall the beads' arrangement. "Now you owe us a story, Moss," he tells his grandson gravely. Dorris (Morning Girl) gives this boy in search of a story a fine tale to tell. Moss, a gentle and penetrating narrator, reaches deep within himself and delves into the fertile ground of his tribe's legends. Disgruntled that his father has invited strangers from another tribe to the family's harvest feast, Moss disappears into the woods, where he unexpectedly experiences his "away time," a rite of passage that involves-in Moss's case-a...


Working Men
Michael Dorris
0446670197
Oct 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Dorris ( A Yellow Raft in Blue Water ) offers 14 carefully etched portraits of just plain American folk puzzling through their roles as parents, children, husbands, wives, neighbors, friends and, as the title says, working men (and women). Not macabre, sensational or faddish, his stories are propelled by the persistent, half-spoken tension between the characters' everyday existence and their greater aspirations. In commonplace surroundings--a yard sale, a front room, a roadside Sheraton--Dorris's people meet with unexpected and often unwelcome epiphanies that jar their lives into perplexing clarity. Even the most secure ties to family and home begin to unravel when protagonists face themselves or when they feel a call to wander to that peculiarly American destination--no place in particular. Dorris has an uncanny...


Love Medicine (Perennial Classics Series)
Louise Erdrich
0060786469
August 2005
Paperback
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From Library Journal
This reissue of Erdrich's exquisite first novel includes five new sections that color and complement the original multigenerational saga of two extended families who live on and around a Chippewa reservation in North Dakota. Each chapter is narrated in a memorable voice like the one of Lipsha Morrissey, a young man who is believed to have "the touch," with which he attempts to bring his wandering grandfather back to his long-suffering grandmother with a love medicine made from goose hearts. By placing us right inside the heads of her remarkable characters, Erdrich allows us to feel the despair that insensitive government policies, poverty, and alcoholism have brought them. For those who have yet to discover this magical novel and for those who will have the pleasure of reexperiencing its heartbreak and its hope,...


Guests
Michael Dorris
0613001699
May 1999
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
At dawn, as the "light from the smoke hole in the roof turned from black to gray," Moss is playing with a string of wampum when it breaks apart, scattering abalone shell beads in many directions. The design of the beads had held a story "from long ago," and even Moss's grandfather can't recall the beads' arrangement. "Now you owe us a story, Moss," he tells his grandson gravely. Dorris (Morning Girl) gives this boy in search of a story a fine tale to tell. Moss, a gentle and penetrating narrator, reaches deep within himself and delves into the fertile ground of his tribe's legends. Disgruntled that his father has invited strangers from another tribe to the family's harvest feast, Moss disappears into the woods, where he unexpectedly experiences his "away time," a rite of passage that involves-in Moss's case-a...


Sees Behind Trees
Michael Dorris
0786813571
May 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
The best adolescent fiction offers more than an escape from teenage turmoil; it instructs as it entertains, giving young readers a view into lives--fictional though they may be--outside their own. Without sentimentality or preachiness but with clear awareness of this power, Michael Dorris tells the story of Walnut, a young Native American boy. Because Walnut can't see well, he has difficulty meeting the challenges, especially feats of skill with bow and arrow, that prove he is ready to receive a new name and become an adult. When a sympathetic uncle invents a new contest to "see what can't be seen," the boy's other senses bring success and earn him the name Sees Behind Trees. Dorris could easily stop there, but he nudges the youngster onward through a series of trials that show adulthood is about more than getting...


Ramona
Helen Hunt Jackson
0451528425
July 2002
Mass Market Paperback
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From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister
Along with Uncle Tom's Cabin, Ramona is considered one of the great propaganda novels of the nineteenth century. Helen Hunt Jackson was already part of the literary elite when she learned of the efforts of the Ponca Indians to keep their land in Nebraska. She spent six months researching and writing A Century of Dishonor, which describes the treatment of Native Americans by the United States government, then mailed a copy to every United States Senator. When her book had little effect, she wrote Ramona, the fictional love story of a beautiful, illegitimate Scots-Indian orphan and the handsome and courageous Indian Alessandro. Ramona has grown up a privileged, adopted child, unaware of her ancestry. When she chooses Alessandro, she becomes Indian. Persecuted and...


Sees Behind Trees Revised Digest Sized
Michael Dorris
061305850X
May 1999
Hardcover
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Book Review
The best adolescent fiction offers more than an escape from teenage turmoil; it instructs as it entertains, giving young readers a view into lives--fictional though they may be--outside their own. Without sentimentality or preachiness but with clear awareness of this power, Michael Dorris tells the story of Walnut, a young Native American boy. Because Walnut can't see well, he has difficulty meeting the challenges, especially feats of skill with bow and arrow, that prove he is ready to receive a new name and become an adult. When a sympathetic uncle invents a new contest to "see what can't be seen," the boy's other senses bring success and earn him the name Sees Behind Trees. Dorris could easily stop there, but he nudges the youngster onward through a series of trials that show adulthood is about more than getting...


Shannon
Sandra King
0613130367
Sept 1993
Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8-These superb books, written by members of the tribes in question and illustrated with photos by Native photographers, open up the Ojibway and Navajo worlds of two 13-year-old girls to their non-Indian contemporaries. Shannon lives in Minneapolis with her grandmother, sisters, and cousins and is a fancy shawl dancer. Kinaalda centers around Celinda as she undergoes the puberty ceremony among her people. Snippets of family conversation in each book lend an intimacy and familiarity not usually available to non-Indian readers, and Native children will recognize these girls as people they know. A bit of tribal history and culture relevant to the events described, excellent full-color photographs and maps, and up-to-date further reading lists make these titles essential purchases for school, public, and...


Conversations with Louise Erdrich and Michael Dorris
Allan Chavkin (Editor)
0878056521
June 1994
Paperback
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From Booklist
Erdrich and Dorris currently share great success as a literary couple with their unique collaborative relationship. The editors have selected 25 interviews for this volume of the Literary Conversations series; together, the interviewers reveal some of the sources of the magic found in the fiction of these two fascinating writers. A striking characteristic surfaces from the slew of similar questions being asked and responded to again and again in these pages. If Erdrich and Dorris have forged a distinctive partnership--and it appears they have--it is due in part to their fearless acceptance of an unprecedented level of creative participation in each other's writing. Admirers should delight in fascinating glimpses of their work process and personal lives. Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or...


Kinaalda
Monty Roessel
0613766075
Sept 1993
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Gr. 4-7. Celinda McKelvey looks like a typical 13-year-old American, and most of the time she lives like one, but her roots are deep in the Navajo nation, and she returns to the reservation to solemnize and celebrate her change from girl to woman. The ceremony, called Kinaald{ }a, marks the coming-of-age for a Navajo girl. Celebrated outdoors and in the family hogan, it is composed of two days of prayer, ritual, feasting, running, and rejoicing. Celinda wears a new dress woven like a Navajo blanket. She blesses her relatives and is blessed by them. She mixes a huge cake, made in part from cornmeal she has ground herself, dedicated to the sun god, and shared with all who attend the Kinaald{ }a. Roessel's text describes Celinda's preparations and the ceremony itself and relates the ancient myth that gave rise to...


Crown of Columbus
Louise Erdrich
0060931655
April 1999
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
A Native American Studies professor and her lover study documents related to a long-lost diary of Christopher Columbus. This lighthearted romantic mystery by a husband-and-wife team spent eight weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list. Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
After scoring substantial critical success individually (for Erdrich with the novels Love Medicine , LJ 10/1/84; The Beet Queen , LJ 8/86; etc.; and for Dorris, with A Yellow Raft in Blue Water , LJ 5/1/87, and the nonfiction The Broken Cord , LJ 7/89), this husband-and-wife team combine their talents to produce what looks to be a Big Time, commercially successful novel, pre-sold movie rights and...

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